Italy attacks 'anti-Semitic' summit

Italy withdraws from UN racism summit over references to the Israeli occupation.

    Italy's foreign minister has decided to withdraw his country's delegation from the summit [EPA]

    US warning

    The New York-based World Jewish Congress (WJC) said Italy had taken a "principled decision".

    Ronald Lauder, president of the WJC, said: "Italy has given a strong signal, which should be a rallying call for other European Union countries."

    Critics of the conference also object to sections of the final declaration which they say would limit freedom of religion or speech.

    Majority Muslim countries, where residents are angry over cartoons and films attacking Muslims, have been campaigning for wording that would equate criticism of a religious faith with a violation of human rights.

    The April 20-25 meeting is designed to review progress in fighting racism since the inaugural summit on racism in South Africa in 2001.

    Israel was attacked during that meeting and anti-Israel demonstrations were held at a parallel conference of non-governmental organisations.

    The US and Israel walked out over a draft resolution that criticised Israel and likened Zionism, the movement to establish and maintain a Jewish state, to racism.

    Last week, the administration of Barack Obama, the US president, said Washington would stay away from this year's meeting unless its final document is changed to drop all references to Israel and the defamation of religion.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?